CA Fur Ban: PetSmart Cat Toys Pulled After PETA Complaint—But Store Still Sells Them Nationwide

For Immediate Release:
July 5, 2023

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Los Angeles

PetSmart was called out by PETA for selling real-fur cat toys at its California stores in apparent violation of the statewide fur ban that went into effect on January 1. A microscopic analysis, paid for by PETA, confirmed that the mouse-shaped cat toys sold under PetSmart’s Whisker City brand are made of real rabbit or hare fur. And PetSmart stores in other states across the U.S. are still selling them just aisles away from supplies for companion rabbits.

In April, PETA sent a letter to PetSmart President and CEO J.K. Symancyk warning that the company was likely breaking the law by selling the toys in California and urging it to drop them nationwide, yet months later, the product was still on store shelves. When contacted by a reporter who was tipped off by PETA this week, however, the toys were suddenly “out of stock” in California, although a label for the item, which was printed on June 5, can still be found on shelves. Many consumers have also been posting their concerns on PetSmart’s website, with one writing, “As many others have asked, is this real animal fur on these toys? I have rabbits and it feels just like their fur. I’m appalled and wish the product description was more upfront about this.”

“For PetSmart to sell fur ripped from rabbits while claiming to ‘love pets’ is cruel, disingenuous, and hypocritical,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA urges PetSmart to get its ethics in line and drop these despicable fur toys from all its stores.”

Animals used in the fur industry typically spend their entire lives inside cramped cages, where they frantically pace back and forth, gnaw on the bars, and mutilate themselves out of frustration. Others are caught in steel traps—which slam shut on their legs, often cutting down to the bone, causing excruciating pain and blood loss.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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